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What can governments do to end poverty in their countries? Is a solution possible under capitalism?

Hello, I come from Argentina, and in my country, poverty is an issue we still can't eradicate, even though extreme poverty has been around for many decades now.

What still baffles me is the fact that although the Government gives away money to those with reduced incomes, poverty is as bad as always. Poor people can now (at least) fulfill their basic needs, but they have now become dependant on the Govt to give them the necessary resources for life (and politicians do not care about this, since this way they can keep on "buying" their votes with cash). They don't have jobs (and some do not even bother to find one) and most still live in slums under really poor conditions. So, it's obvious this solution is only benefitial in the short run... eventually the Government is going to run out of money and we'll still have the same number of people in the streets.

Moreover, I read yesterday how India is going to start doing the same thing, but I guess that probably won't go anywhere either.

Now, what do you think is the solution to stop this vicious circle of poverty? What is your Government doing about it?

Bear in mind that Latin America has just extreme poverty levels (not as much as Africa), but still much more than the First World countries. At least in my country there is a surprisingly high number of slums (check some photos in wikipedia: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_miseria )

In my opinion, emphasis should be made on giving labour to these people outside-the-system. But for that, we need to offer public AND quality education. Yet I'm conscious that a malnourished child is not going to be able to be properly educated, is he?. So what can we do to ensure that child will have a better future? It's difficult to come up with a solution, but we're in the 21st Century now, it's about time we stopped poverty.


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  • Jan 9 2013: I believe that it is in fact possible to have very little poverty in a Capitalistic economy. And the way I see it happening is by changing everyones individual perspective on their own capabilities of obtaining money. Not by a President or leader altering various taxes and government spending policies. But by altering the psychologies of individuals to be more equipped and structured to not fall gullible to the only solution of being solely dependent on Government aid. But by no means am I saying that we should cut those policies, because they do provide a service of helping people who unexpectedly fall victim to inconvenient circumstances such as being fired or laid off of work.

    Along with a few others who have posted, the only way I see this happening is by altering our current educational systems. By educating our generations, present, and future ones to be individuals to follow their dreams and have self worth and not allowing them to limit themselves on obtaining those dreams solely on their financial standings and the thought of a linear path to money, I feel we will see a shift of people's perspectives on what poverty really is in a radical way.

    I find this saying to be true, "Your best weapon is an educated mind."

    If we could have a mass collection of individuals whom are more educated enough to know their self worth and instill enough courage in them to pursue that self worth while giving them enough psychological armor to not be brought down by the opinions of others, we could easily eliminate poverty.

    But education does not come only from a "school", we receive some form of education everyday. And when we're in our early adolescent stages we don't think to question the education that we receive and everything we perceive in these stages forms our beliefs later on. So being raised in a heathy psychological environment that instills the beliefs of not putting yourself above others while maintaining a balance of individualism and community is vital.

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